Logline: Five Internet friends must band together outside to prevent Earth from feeling the wrath of a group of extremist Internet trolls who seek to purge the world into extinction after being humiliated by their losing a forum war.
Plot: The film starts off in the city of New York, New York, which is under attack by the villains, the Trolls, who all loudly chant “Long live the Trolls!” over and over. Buildings are collapsing and people are dying left and right. A man's severed head literally flies towards the camera before the film cuts to black. The opening credits begin, revealing a quick-cut series of disturbing imagery, grotesque videos, and fear-mongering headline, all of which relate to various attacks by the Trolls.
After the credits wrap up, the film cuts to a mansion in Varadero, Cuba. Living in the mansion is the main villain, Matthew Preston, who looks shaggy and unkempt, with greasy hair, sickly pale white skin, and unnervingly bug-like eyes. He stares at a large series of monitors and screens right in front of him, all of which show maps of the fifty United States and clips of the attacks (and news reports related to the attacks). It's revealed that he's the leader of the Trolls. He starts fondling two of the screens like they're a pair of human breasts. He closes his eyes.
The film then enters a sepia-toned flashback in a prestigious estate in Boston, Massachusetts, a few years ago. Matthew's sleeping on his bed, in a hideously untidy room. His frustrated wealthy parents, Sheldon and Antonia, enter to wake him up and have a chat with him. Antonia tells him that they want him to move out.
When Matthew is lost as to why, Sheldon goes stark-raving mad and tells him that it's because of how he's humiliated him, his company, and the family due to his insensitive comments on social media, ranging from calling persons of color degrading slurs, sending pictures of his genitalia to minors, and encouraging said minors to commit suicide. Sheldon strangles him, but Antonia stops the madness. Matthew is quietly devastated.
Out of guilt, Antonia puts a large wad of cash in Matthew's suitcase. He moves out of his parents' home, depressed and feeling lonely. He can't help but get increasingly angry at, and driven worryingly insane by, the incredibly diverse culture he's surrounded by wherever he goes. At a coffee shop, he checks out an Internet forum he's a member of on his laptop and sees that he's been banned and kicked off the site. Clenching his fist, he's about to punch the person serving him coffee before the film cuts back to the present day, where he punches one of the screens. He looks furious, breathing heavily and letting the glass cut into the skin of his hand, oozing and dripping blood.
The story then takes its time to establish the protagonists. Graham Kirkman, a bisexual cinephile and blogger who lives in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois, has just gotten back from a film he hated and thinks having a drink at the local bar and grille will be able to calm his nerves. He entertains the barkeep and his fellow patrons with his dry, sarcastic, at-times cynical sense of humor.
But a gang of troublemaking rough-housers, who just so happen to be familiar with his blog, come up to him and threaten him with assault, as well as make biphobic, offensive comments towards him. Graham pays the barkeep for “the damages,” after which he splashes his drink all over the gang, causing them to fall over and damage the tables and glasses. Graham makes a run for it, bolting out of the bar and escaping the gang before they can catch up to him. The gang leader gets stung on the nose by a bumblebee.
Samantha Bell, who lives in Buffalo, New York, is a kind-hearted, quick-witted transgender woman who has a day-job as a page for a public library, where she puts books back on the shelves and rearranges them back in the correct order. A teenage girl goes up to her and asks for her help with finding a book, to which she accepts. But she soon encounters trouble with the girl's father, a Graham Linehan-looking TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) who insults her with transphobic language.
When Samantha rightfully calls him out on his bigotry and abusive behavior, her boss comes out to defend her, and the two demand that he leave and never come back, much to the girl's embarrassment and shame. Samantha appreciates her boss sticking up for her and goes back to her job. She also feels bad for the girl, having to be raised by such a misogynistic father.
At night, Samantha is a sex worker, hooking up with clients — most of them are men, but some of them are women and enbies too — as a means of making money to pay rent, but it's a job she enjoys more than being a page due to not having to put up with as much prejudice. Her latest client is a very wealthy young woman named Jane. The two have sex that night and they both enjoy it. Jane pays her a generous amount of money. Samantha keeps some of it to herself while using the remaining amount to pay rent on time and be able to keep her apartment.
Dani Rivera, a feisty, whip-smart Afro-Latinx enby who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, works as a mechanic for an auto workshop and is ridiculously good at what they do, getting things done very fast and with great skill. One day on the job, they comfort a fellow mechanic, Santino, who confesses to having been sexually harassed by another mechanic, Naylor, and when she tried to file a report, he bullied and threatened her into staying silent.
Dani, believing her and feeling sorry for her, decides to give Naylor a taste of his own medicine. Before he comes back, they secretly fumble around with the car he's fixing up, sending a large stream of oil down his throat. He swallows some, causing him to be sent to the hospital.
Alex Wright, a young Black man who lives in South Central Los Angeles, California, is purchasing snacks and drinks at a convenience store with Black and Latinx friends of his. The racist clerk, feigning suspicion, calls the cops on them, and they're assaulted and called offensive slurs by the police and arrested.
Alex's father, Thomas, gets his son out of jail and drives him back home, knowing he did nothing wrong. He bemoans the state of law enforcement in the United States. Alex goes back to his bedroom, where he's looking over two video projects a horror short and a film review - and editing them back-to-back.
Carly Hannah, who lives in Boston, is a high schooler on the verge of graduation who yearns to be a writer. She writes various stories during study hall and her English teacher compliments her on her abilities, acknowledging that she has real potential. However, Carly is very shy, having difficulty making friends and feeling sad about it, due to sharing little of the same interests that the other students have.
At night, when the five are all back at their respective homes, they participate in a Skype chat where we realize that they're the titular Trollfighters. They each have a friendly, lengthy chat about film, music, politics, and what's going on in their personal lives, although Samantha's sex work is never brought up, however. Graham, Samantha, Dani, and Alex are the closest to real friends that Carly's ever had.
The next morning, the Trolls attack once more, this time around the whole country. They shoot people down and blow vehicles and buildings up with machine guns, rockets, and attack helicopters. Graham's attacked while walking around a video store, Carly's attacked while eating breakfast with her parents, Alex is attacked while riding his bike around town, and Samantha and Dani are attacked while at their respective day jobs.
All five are knocked out unconscious and the Trolls use teleportation devices to kidnap them and take them back to Cuba. The Trollfighters wake up in an underground bunker below Matthew's mansion's basement, introduced to each other for the first time outside of the Internet. They're stuck in the bunker for days, making various failed attempts to escape that all instantly go wrong.
During their time, they're tortured by the Trolls and are further punished whenever they attempt to mock or rebel against them. The Trolls also have a tendency to insult and pull malicious and offensive pranks on the Trollfighters, targeting their respective races, gender identities, and sexual orientations. One prank involving a spiked drink and food results in Carly getting violently sick with food poisoning, and she's taken care of by Samantha.
When the Trollfighters ask Matthew why he's doing all this, he reminds them that they have a history and have all participated in “the great war,” confusing them. Matthew was considered on the Internet to be a “king” of extremist trolldom, with many successful attempts at causing maximum disruption and arguments on various forums and social media platforms. He eventually started chatting with lonely involuntary celibates all over the Internet and he convinced them to help him dominate the Web with pervasive trolling. Eventually, they found themselves running out of ideas.
The Trollfighters, whom they had been harassing for a while, took advantage of this and “defeated” them in the great war, rendering them worthless. As it turns out, the Trolls had been taking their antics far too seriously and they had all vowed revenge on the Trollfighters, as well as the world that “supported” them. Matthew even admits to using a teleportation device to break into his former home, brutally murder his parents in a fit of rage, and rob them of their money and use it to gather weapons and assemble a massive army within a surprisingly short amount of time, as well as burning the estate down.
The Trollfighters are all flabbergasted by this revelation. Graham drunkenly destroys the room around him, while the others responds with a harsh tirade about how Preston is a deranged, loathsome man-child who took the whole thing too seriously and is now bent on destroying everyone and everything solely because people got tired of his antics, confessing to him that the Trollfighters never took it seriously and only did it for fun. This makes Preston and the rest of the Trolls angry, refusing to believe they're in the wrong, and decide to further punish them, leading to Samantha taking one of their guns and killing a Troll, which shocks everyone.
During their time together, the Trollfighters take the opportunity to get to know each other better. Samantha confesses to being a sex worker and her fellow Trollfighters are all perfectly fine with it, much to her pleasant surprise. Dani frequently talks about their love for and appreciation of technology and how it constantly evolves.
Carly discusses her issues with loneliness and having trouble making other friends and takes comfort in realizing that the Trollfighters are her real friends regardless of whether they met on the Internet or away from the Internet. Alex entertains everyone with ideas for his video content and shares his experiences of being racially profiled and discriminated. Graham, who finds himself developing a crush on Samantha, admits that his overly sarcastic humor and cynicism is a coping mechanism he uses to alleviate the stress and discomfort he feels while in bad situations.
One day, after witnessing Matthew holding an uncensored rally on live television — a dark and twisted parody and homage to the neo-Nazi fantasy sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall — and convincing incels to become Trolls and to go out and attack and kill people, Carly has an intense emotional breakdown, lamenting the possibility of them never being able to see their friends or families ever again.
Having finally had enough, they all decide to train and prepare themselves for combat and escape, in a montage. After taking out several Trolls, they find a teleportation device which ends up sending them to New York. An enraged Matthew officially declares war on the Trollfighters, and sends his army to where they're at. Once the Troll army arrives, they participate in a car chase with the Trollfighters in a lengthy set-piece, with both parties causing massive collateral damage along the way.
The Trolls eventually decide to shake things up by driving a tank and teleporting it to the highway, but Dani, having snatched a rocket launcher from them before they escaped, uses it to destroy the tank and kill a massive amount of Trolls. One of the Trolls uses a teleportation device to send the car with a screaming Graham and Samantha inside driving off of a collapsing skyscraper, but Carly saves them by using another device to transport them to a deserted parking garage. Carly, Dani, and Alex meet up with them and transport back to the streets, where the other Trolls start chasing them.
The Trollfighters, seeing more of the chaos and destruction in the city, come under attack by more Trolls. Samantha takes down several of them in hand-to-hand combat and Graham kills some others in a bloody sword-fight. Graham also saves Samantha from one of them. As a means of thanking him, she kisses him, stunning him. Dani gets in a standoff with a Troll that results in both of them being shot, with Dani surviving and the other dying from having his head blown off. Alex shoots down more Trolls using a machine gun turret, with Carly using another turret to blow up an attack helicopter.
The Trollfighters reunite and use a tall, abandoned building as a temporary hideout, where Alex and Carly tend to Dani's wounds. Graham and Samantha have a talk privately, with the latter discussing when she first came out to her supportive mother as transgender and how sick and tired she is of her existence being described as “brave” when she wants it to be axiomatic. The former confesses the crush he's been having on her since their time in the basement, apologizes for past transphobic comments he's made on the forum, and reassures her that she's valid.
They're interrupted by more Trolls, who attack them. Dani convinces them to escape while they and Samantha take the Trolls down one by one, the former riding a turret-attached motorcycle and the latter shooting from behind with a submachine gun. The fight ends with Dani burning the last of the Trolls to death with a rocket launcher that blows up and collapses the building.
They escape and rejoin the Trollfighters, trying to help them convince Matthew to take the fight elsewhere as cities around the world have been undone by too much damage, to which he childishly refuses. An army of Trolls then teleport to where they are to kidnap Samantha and bring her to Matthew in his mansion in Cuba. The Trolls then come back to ruthlessly attack the rest of the Trollfighters for the whole world to see, including brutally pummeling Graham and Alex, shooting off one of Dani's toes, and burning Carly's right hand.
In the mansion, Matthew launches into a discriminatory rant against Samantha('s transness) and the other Trollfighters, as well as the world around them, mainly modern political correctness culture and social justice warriors. After she sucker-punches him in the throat as a response, the two participate in a brutal fight that ends with him shooting off her middle fingers.
Matthew comes close to killing her, but Samantha catches him off-guard and blasts his genitals off with one of his shotguns. She teleports them both back to New York and tackles him out of a tall building, where she reunites with the Trollfighters and they overpower the massive army of Trolls. They reveal to the scared crowd watching that Matthew is the one responsible for the attacks, resulting in him being beaten mercilessly.
In a shot-for-shot recreation of the most memorable scene from Wes Craven's Deadly Friend, Graham finally kills Matthew by exploding his screaming head with an especially strong basketball, much to the crowd's shock and amazement. The headless body then stumbles around the streets before eventually collapsing onto the ground.
A young boy in the crowd declares the Trollfighters heroes and everyone rejoices in the fact that the attacks have finally come to an end. The Trollfighters find multiple teleportation devices and use them to go back to their respective homes, while promising that they'll keep contact with each other. Graham compliments Samantha on her kissing him earlier and asks her out on a date, to which she happily accepts. As Carly joyfully reunites with her parents, the film cuts to black, with the end credits playing.
Soundtrack: “Theme from New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, “Seven Seas of Rhye” by Queen, “Bang the Drum All Day” by Todd Rundgren, “Let It Ride” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon, “Lola” by The Kinks, “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” by Styx, “Drive” by The Cars, “American Skin (41 Shots)” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, “Call Me (Theme from American Gigolo)” by Blondie, “It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M., “In the Flesh” and “Waiting for the Worms” by Pink Floyd, “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” by Paul Engemann, “All I Want” by The Offspring, “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Never” by Moving Pictures, “Fire On High” by Electric Light Orchestra, “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent, and “Playing for Keeps” by Pete Townshend.
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